Most people think of the fall and winter as cold season, but the sniffles can also hit hard during the summer too! If you're suffering from cold symptoms and don't want to reach for Dayquil or Robitussin... never fear, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has just the remedy for you!
As modern science continues to unravel the complexity of virus behavior on a cellular level in humans, cold sufferers should be reminded that the Chinese medical system has successfully treated viral infections, like the common cold, for several thousand years. Rather than try to eradicate the virus, Chinese medicine subscribes to a model of peaceful coexistence, believing the pathogens are a natural complement to our healthy bodies. If, however, the body’s defenses are in a weakened state and disease occurs, Chinese practitioners will seek to arouse the body’s own healing force to effectively expel the pathogen.
Take Your Medicine
- Ganmao Ling Keli: This comes as a granule that you can dissolve in hot water. It reduces fever and relieves pain, nasal congestion, runny nose, sore throat (note: it contains acetamenophin).
- Yinqiao Jiedu: Specially designed to treat warm-wind colds, this drug contains honeysuckle and forsythia, and is used to treat fever, headache, cough, dry mouth and sore throat.
- Zhonggan Ling: Eases chills, fever, aches, stuffy nose, sore throat, cough, and severe cold.
- Chuanxinlian: Designed for warm-wind colds, this drug is especially adept at treating sore throats and, as the Baike Baidu article so graphically put it, “hot humid diarrhea.”
- Banlangen Keli: Enhances immunity, kills viruses and pathogens, sore throat, cools internal heat.
Eat The Right Food
- Avoid everything delicious: Cut out the grease, meat, sweets and salt. This includes most seafood, as well as “vegetable junk food” like pickles.
- Embrace the bland: What you want is a plain, low-protein diet. Stay away from alcohol, spice and temperature-hot foods in favor of things that are bland and easily digestible, like porridge.
- Sacrifice the fresh breath: For whatever reason, parsley is forbidden, while garlic is encouraged. In addition to boosting your the immune system, the latter helps prevent colds due to pathogenic cold and wind.
- Avoid the following: Plums, persimmons, beans, carrots, sweet potatoes, cucumbers, pears, ginger, cinnamon, cloves.
- Drink your juice: Best is sour juices like hawthorn or kiwi fruit, which help improve the appetite.
- Stuffy nose: Rub your thumbs up and down vertically along either side of your nose, pressing on any spots that feel sore.
- Congestion and sinus pain: Press on the yingxiang points on either side of your nostrils. Further down and out by about half an inch are points that relieve pressure and pain behind the eyes.
- Headaches: Using your thumbs, massage the hollow spaces on the back of your head, just at the base of your skull.
- General cold relief and immunity: Press on the spot on the inside of your elbow near the top of the crease.
- Chest congestion and coughing: Press in the hollow below the knobs of your collarbone, next to the breast bone